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MaddAddam #3


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A man-made plague has swept the earth, but a small group survives, along with the green-eyed Crakers – a gentle species bio-engineered to replace humans. Toby, onetime member of the Gods Gardeners and expert in mushrooms and bees, is still in love with street-smart Zeb, who has an interesting past. The Crakers’ reluctant prophet, Snowman-the-Jimmy, is hallucinating; Amanda is in shock from a Painballer attack; and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox, who is flirting with Zeb. Meanwhile, giant Pigoons and malevolent Painballers threaten to attack.

Told with wit, dizzying imagination, and dark humour, Booker Prize-winning Margaret Atwood’s unpredictable, chilling and hilarious MaddAddam takes us further into a challenging dystopian world and holds up a skewed mirror to our own possible future.

394 pages, Hardcover

First published August 29, 2013

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About the author

Margaret Atwood

518 books77.2k followers
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction and is perhaps best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1970), The Handmaid's Tale (1983), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. Atwood's dystopic novel, Oryx and Crake, was published in 2003. The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short stories) both appeared in 2006. Her most recent volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth ­ in the Massey series, appeared in 2008, and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, in the autumn of 2009. Ms. Atwood's work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. In 2004 she co-invented the Long Pen TM.

Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Associations: Margaret Atwood was President of the Writers' Union of Canada from May 1981 to May 1982, and was President of International P.E.N., Canadian Centre (English Speaking) from 1984-1986. She and Graeme Gibson are the Joint Honourary Presidents of the Rare Bird Society within BirdLife International. Ms. Atwood is also a current Vice-President of PEN International.

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5 stars
24,241 (33%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,784 reviews
Profile Image for Moira.
512 reviews25 followers
September 1, 2013
Yeah, that was also fantastic. I cried buckets at the end. Jesus.

O&C is the male story -- all sex and longing, invention and death (look, I'm just telling you what I see). Flood is like the women's side -- lots more better women characters, but also lots of sexual violence. Friendship, salvation, vulnerability, hedgewitchery.

(And lots of hot pink. Trust me, it works.)

But MaddAddam is more like -- the male story again, but the woman observing and commenting on it, and it's entwined with her own -- just like the names, Adam and Madam, which also ties in with the end of the last book.

That was great to read them all together but I'm kinda SHATTERED. Also I put off dinner and am starving, and got all growly when I was accidentally interrupted. Gonna cook trout. Thankfully we no longer eat pork.

Thank you for the fish. I will put the fish in my mouth. Sadly I do not have a Red Sox baseball cap.
Profile Image for Daniel Kukwa.
3,941 reviews86 followers
June 29, 2015
At first, I was disappointed. Where were the epic final confrontations? Where was the catharsis, after two novels of terrifying, complex build-up? A third of the way through, it hit me: none of that actually matters to the novel. The entire "final battle" is almost an afterthought, compared to the main themes of hope rising from the ashes, the power of love & loyalty, and the fact that human civilization adapts...spitting proudly in the eye of dystopia. This is a story about "telling" the stories of characters -- Zeb & Toby's romance, Zeb & Adam's coming of age, the Crakers & their enlightenment through the young Blackbeard...and the novel is quite seductive (to say nothing of snort-inducing hilarious when it comes to dealing with profanity) as it constructs its narrative. I might not have received what I was expecting, but I certainly am satisfied with the end result. It leaves a warm glow behind, one worthy of the Crakers and their boundless optimism.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,530 reviews791 followers
October 12, 2022
This last chapter is yet another astounding book in the MaddAddam trilogy, as we get the end of the world from Zeb's point of view and what happens with the survivors. So sad to be leaving this utterly amazing constructed reality. Atwood created a world of unfettered and completely deregulated capitalism, science and corporatism to create a nightmare world that felt only a few decades from some of the low points of the 20th century! 9 out of 12.

2017 read
Profile Image for Emily.
694 reviews2,004 followers
September 2, 2014
I have never been this unimpressed with a Margaret Atwood novel. MaddAddam is a tedious slog through the events of Oryx and Crake - again. While this technique worked incredibly well in The Year of the Flood, providing context for much of the events and letting the female characters flip Jimmy's story on its head, MaddAddam totally fails to provide anything new or interesting in its backstory.

You might think that, now that all of the characters have met up after the end of the world, there would be some forward momentum in the present-day. You would be wrong. If you're interested in what happens to Jimmy, the erstwhile protagonist of the first novel, or any of the characters from the second novel - Toby, Ren, or Amanda - then you are going to be sorely disappointed. Toby's arc during this book is particularly terrible, but Ren and Amanda only escape this fate because they spend most of their time offscreen. Jimmy spends most of the novel in a coma. In fact, the entire plot of the present-day revolves around the Crakers and the Maddaddamites defending themselves from two rogue Painballers. It's just as boring as it sounds.

Even if you're reading MaddAddam to be further immersed in the dystopian world that Margaret Atwood created in Oryx and Crake, you'll probably still be disappointed. 75% of this novel takes place in the past, rehashing Zeb's life in the pleeblands and his relationship with Adam One. There are a few interesting new additions to the world, but the vast majority of Zeb's activities are tied to the other books' plot lines; his story just retells what you already know.

Finally, the writing in this book is just plain bad. There are a couple moments where the prose recalls the first two books, but they are few and far between. The metaphors have all been done before. The characters are flat and static. The Craker story sections are beyond painful. The pacing is puzzling. It's just one big mess.

Because I can't keep it all spoiler-free, here are some things I thoroughly loathed about this novel:

I don't know if it's possible to only read the first two books in this trilogy and resist reading the third. Maybe I would have appreciated this more if I had read it immediately after The Year of the Flood, but I doubt it. I really felt like this volume added absolutely nothing. There's no resolution, no catharsis ... I closed this feeling relieved that I was finally done. If you're strong enough to resist, don't read this one.
Profile Image for Annet.
570 reviews715 followers
November 14, 2019
I was so excited about this last book of the MaddAddam trilogy and I saw the book in Waterstones couple of weeks in hardcover. I could not resist.... and read!

I read the reviews and saw that some readers were somewhat disappointed about this final MaddAddam. I really don't care.... I am amazed still by the content, imagination and cleverness of this story and this great writer.

Yes the first book was amazing, mindboggling, what's happening here... the second book shocking and up close & personal. The third book, brings it all together for me. Touching story, those people you got to know in the previous books get closer, the beautiful way of writing and decribing the scenes, it's even more personal and it's closure. How can anyone invent a story like this... Yes, there are elements in this story which were... sort of... out of place for me. Will not get into detail because then i'd spoil.... But the whole story more than made up for it. What a great story, what a great writer. Extraordinary. One of the highlights of my reading in 2013. And highly recommended. Big five star.
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,109 reviews44.3k followers
May 6, 2020
Some questions are best left unanswered, and some endings are better off unwritten because sometimes the question itself is what makes the piece so extraordinary. Revealing what happens next could only ever be disappointing.

This felt like a massive overwrite. Atwood is only joining the dots here, piecing together the threads of storytelling and character arcs left open from the previous two instalments (that were only ever vaguely related to each other.) It’s like a forced conclusion as it’s all shoved into a box with a nice little bow wrapped around it. It’s also terribly repetitive, going over the events from Oryx and Crake again. Much of this novel is stuck in the past and it adds very little to the trilogy at large. It has no momentum and no presence.

I honestly don’t understand why she even bothered to write it. There’s nothing new here. A huge part of the book is told from the perspective of Zeb (a minor character from book two) and we learn his experience about events we’ve already read about. I just don’t get it, as the book plods on at a mind numbingly boring pace nothing really happens. The ending itself (or at least the event that I saw as bringing Jimmy’s story to closure) was absolutely pointless.

And, in a way, this makes me massively worried about what’s to come next. Later this year, she is releasing a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Part of the that book's brilliance was the openness of its ending. Atwood said all that she needed to; the particulars of the plot weren’t overly important, so I’m a little worried she may fall into a similar trap.

I hope I never rate an Atwood novel this low again.

MaddAddam Trilogy
1. Oryx and Crake - 5 stars
2. The Year of the Flood - 5 stars
3. MaddAddam - 2 stars



You can connect with me on social media via My Linktree.
Profile Image for Fabian.
940 reviews1,546 followers
February 19, 2019
I have completion anxiety, or whatever it's called. If it's a trilogy of books we are talking about, YES, it WILL take me YEARS to complete. Thankfully, Maddaddam book three immediately reminds you of why you fell in love with Atwood's postapocalyptic world in the first place.

It has parts of "Oryx and Crake" & "Year of the Flood" in it... the former a sprawling genesis of the apocalypse, the latter a more personal tale of what it takes to survive it. Maddaddam contains a mixture of both (there is an immediate- and an epic-like quality to it). It is sad and, actually, very very funny. This is MARGARET ATWOOD'S "FUNNIEST" novel to date. She's constructed a world that resembles this one--all the main figures (avatars of Jesus and Adam & Eve, and Cain and Abel) have been represented well. They are emblematic. They are, most of them, video game-playing persons who've given life to a new world order.

I really admire the writer's impulse to create a world larger than "The Handmaid's Tale" (her most famous book) and to have a blast creating worlds that incorporate nature & technology both.

This is (probably) one of the best literary trilogies.

It's very satisfying, to say the least.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
659 reviews840 followers
March 11, 2020
“People need such stories, because however dark, a darkness with voices in it is better than a silent void.”

Image result for margaret atwood

After enjoying the first two books in the series so well (Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood), I had some apprehension about Margaret Atwood's final book in the series, MaddAddam. This book takes up where both of the first two books end, and follows what is ostensibly the last remnant of humanity as we had known it (along with the genetically engineered humanoids known as Crakers). I was looking forward to seeing what happens to Jimmy (the Snowman), Toby and the Crakers who are the real future of humanity.

In MaddAddam, we do learn more about Jimmy and Toby, but the Crakers become the real story. We gain a greater appreciation of the Crakers along with the Pigoons (human/pig spliced species) who had previously been depicted as intelligent but malevolent. They are both seen as being part of the natural order that will continue after humans have left the stage for good. This makes the stories that Crakers clamor for all that more important. These stories will be the basis for future generations who will likely leave their childlike innocence behind and evolve in a new world that had been prepared for them by the 'waterless flood.' This is further emphasized by the young Craker named Blackbeard who learns to write and participates in the storytelling.

This one took a while to get going (and that is my biggest complaint about MaddAddam). Even off of fresh reads of the first two books, I wasn't fully engaged until nearly halfway through. After that, it was a wild, interesting and satisfying ride to the end. 4.25 stars
Profile Image for Lisa.
974 reviews3,328 followers
August 7, 2019
Ok, MaddAddam!

Let me say straight away that I don't like sequels that much. But then again, I didn't like dystopian fiction at all before I read "Oryx and Crake" some 10 years ago. After "The Year of the Flood" came out 4 years ago, I found myself unable to wait for the paperback version, and I didn't even consider waiting when "MaddAddam" was announced.

I don't know what I expected and I think I should probably re-read the first two books to grasp all ideas in MaddAddam, but my instant feeling is that the third one is the best in the series, for a reason I didn't anticipate at all.

The first two definitely show off more action from different angles, but MaddAddam gives the philosophical background to the story. It is amazing to watch a new civilisation emerge, including creation stories that start out as random bedtime whispers without any claim on accuracy and then gain power and consequently truth. I love the parts when the artificially created humanoid Crakers evolve from their vegetable state into something more complicated - using words, written and spoken, to build a new religion. Names gain power: You can't change Snowman-the-Jimmy to Jimmy-the-Snowman, as Toby realises when talking to the little Craker boy Blackbeard.

This book is not about humanity gone berserk destroying our planet anymore, it is about creating a world based on our needs: food, shelter, love, sex, stories. It is about adaptation and evolution, survival of those able to find a niche - not necessarily the physically strongest of the species, but definitely the most versatile. Zeb survives multiple death threats by changing shape and function, and that is symptomatic for all characters. Survival of the adaptable, a Darwinist take on life, but not materialistic alone, since the human need for myth, ritual and love is pointed out over and over again.

I can see why MaddAddam doesn't appeal to everyone - being a very slow and quiet read compared to the first two books - but as for me, I was more deeply satisfied with this story and would put it on one shelf with The Handmaid's Tale.

Having said that, you have to read the first two books to get a feeling for the strange world Toby and Zeb and the Crakers are moving in! Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood are the Genesis stories of MaddAddam, and like it or not, to understand the building up of the new civilization, you have to know where it is coming from.

Postscript: As I am currently trying to figure out whether or not I like science fiction, and why some of it still seems like utter trash, while other books make me laugh and cry - I think I have come closer to an answer: I definitely like the reflection on society and where it is headed, but I can't be bothered with the shallow adventures and fights between half-human antiheroes. there has to be a social question involved, which is why books like Feed or The Last Book in the Universe appeal to me. They point out the dangers in our society to a younger audience and open up a discussion on language, community and values. Feed features a press release from the government, explaining in detail that the boss didn't mean to hurt anyone when he said "Big Shithead", and that it in fact was an American idiom expressing respect. Opening the Economist this morning, I find scarily similar reports, twisting language to extreme absurdities. Margaret Atwood works with the same kind of idea. The best example in my opinion is when Snowman mutters "Oh Fuck", and the confused Crakers ask about the meaning. Being used to worship anything preceded by "Oh", they receive the explanation that "Oh Fuck" is someone you call for help when you are particularly upset. This became an instant running gag between me and a friend. "Is it time to call on the great deity yet?" we would ask. It is a book for fans of myth-making.

This of course is a very personal reflection, and probably not at all representative.

It's just what it is - for me! And that is why I liked MaddAddam so much while others have said with some right that it was superfluous.
Profile Image for Oriana.
Author 2 books3,261 followers
October 23, 2013
before reading: May I tell you about my borderline-psychotic quest to score an advance proof of this book?

It involved contacting literally every single person on GR who had reviewed this pre-publication, in order to prostrate myself and beg them to loan me their copy. Of those who dignified my crazy request with a response, a few had been given advance editions on the promise of never sharing them, and the rest had read it in e-galleys, which fuck that. And anyway, those like disappear as soon as you read them or something, right?

So I writhed and cursed and slavered and champed at all the bits, and then I re-read both Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, and then I haunted eBay every fucking day, until I got in a bidding war for a proof in Australia that almost cost me $70, and I realized I had very nearly lost my damn mind.

So, picking myself up and dusting myself off, I decided on a distraction in the form of 1Q84, in the actually not-insane hope that by the time I got through that monstrosity, the world would be willing to reward me with a moderately priced MaddAddam proof.

And guess what? It goddamn worked.


after reading: Another thing that happened on my frantic quest to snatch a pre-pub copy of this book was that several people told me that I shouldn't be expending so much effort on this hunt because the book actually wasn't all that good.

I would like to fight those people.

MaddAddam is fucking brilliant, just like everything Margaret Atwood touches is fucking brilliant.

I will admit that at first I was a little nervous. Without being too spoilery—this book is post-apocalyptic, and a new kind of human has been introduced after 99% of people died off. This race is called the Crakers, and they are about a quarter animal, in various ways, and consequently they are incredibly simplistic, lacking the understanding of the vast majority of human ways and culture. We had the Crakers in the first two books of this trilogy, as oddities primarily seen and rarely heard. But in this volume they are front and center, and I was nervous because I thought maybe Margaret was going to become a victim of her own creation—characters like this are kind of annoying, with their stilted manner of speaking, their endless questions, forcing all the regular people to constantly break everything down into its most simplistic essence to explain it to them. I thought, at the start, that it would get pretty grating to have to trudge through these kinds of exchanges for 300+ pages.

That's why Margaret is a genius and I am but a naïf.

She deftly maneuvers around this obstacle, defusing it in many ways—sometimes the regular human characters step in to gently mock the Crakers, giving the reader a break and an ally; sometimes watching the humans try to talk to them forces the reader herself to think about how she would explain a concept like "car" to a being essentially from another plane of existence. And sometimes, of course, the Crakers act as idiot savants, forcing the humans to confront, deconstruct, and revise their own ideas and actions. Plus, of course, they sometimes become heroes in their own right, revealing hidden depths to their seemingly placid exteriors.

Enough about the Crakers. Another thing this book does brilliantly is to gently skewer the idea of religion, to lay bare and make plausible the way a culture defines itself by its origin story and its creation myths, showing how some of the truly preposterous tales at the heart of any religion might have once been grounded in a reality that is now too far in the past to even comprehend.

I can't give examples. I keep trying but they get spoilery.

Another thing is how meticulous and (harrowingly) believable Margaret Atwood's apocalypse is. Unlike the world of Handmaid's Tale, for example, which I don't recall feeling much connected to, this one is ours, completely, with current technologies, conflicts, corporate alliances, and such taken just a few steps further to their logical but deeply terrifying conclusions. I've heard that this is called "speculative fiction," which sounds about right to me. I mean, if you don't want to wander around listening to a genius speculating on how horribly awry everything we know could go, then I don't really have anything left to say to you.

Oh, and in case anyone wants to claim that Margaret is getting old and/or out of touch, she also throws off phrases like "I did it for the lulz" perfectly, with the most casual aplomb. Because did I mention that she's a genius?

I don't know, this review is a jumbled mess. Whatever.

Here's the last thing I have to say: this shit made me cry at the end, in public, unapologetically, both because everything she does to her characters is terrible but also absolutely right, and also because, motherfuck, now these books are done, the whole brilliant terrible wonderful devastating marvelous thing is seriously truly over, and that is just the goddamn pits.

The world feels a little (a lot) dimmer knowing I don't have another Atwood waiting for me just as soon as I can make my way to a copy, or force a copy to make its way to me, is what I'm trying to say.
Profile Image for Jen.
285 reviews1 follower
February 8, 2017
I wish I hadn't been so disappointed in this book. Why was I so disappointed in this book? I finished it Saturday night and haven't really been able to gather the brain power to assign any words to this. Yesterday I read though some of the reviews and found many of the things that bothered me articulated much more clearly by other reviewers here:

Badass Toby became lovesick high school girl Toby, whose entire identity seems to grow from her love interest. WTF feminist writer Margaret Atwood?

Jimmy. Snowman. Snowman the Jimmy. Whatever you want to call him. We never even saw a glimmer of a return to his complex, fascinating character from Oryx and Crake in this book.

The Crakers. With Jimmy comatose as the book opens, Toby takes over the duty of telling them the stories to explain their place in the world and the things that are happening in it. At first the way you hear these stories will be charming. You'll chuckle, even. You can just hear the unwritten childlike questions posed by the Crakers! Oh how funny that they sing every time Crake is mentioned! Oh my, now Toby has to eat that uncooked fish! But it wears a bit thin at the 50th installment. Atwood attempts to mine a bigger meaning out of this storyline with one of the Crakers eventually learning to communicate himself, through Toby teaching him writing and storytelling. Near as I can figure, this is about the biggest message she is trying to deliver through the entire series. Something about the importance of communication maybe? Or education? What?? When did this become an after school special??

And let's be honest. What was so compelling about Oryx and Crake, and Year of the Flood, was the way you could really believe every single terrifying thing that happens in this genetically modified universe. And, you met some very human characters trying to cope with this world despite all their very real and relatable flaws. See my review of Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood for more detail on why I love this. But in the end? Sorry, I'm just not buying that, Margaret. Too much. Not to mention the detail someone else here already mentioned-- come on. ALL of the characters knew each other in former lives? And they just so happen to be among the couple dozen humans who survived the plague? WHAT A COINCIDENCE.

I think my greatest disappointment in this story was that the final conflict in this story did not center around the complex new values or morals that would surely need to evolve after such a harrowing chapter in human history. Nor the difficulties that these very real characters would surely face in having to articulate and shape these new value systems in this new world. No. Instead all we got was

This is probably the least coherent review I've ever written here but this is what I think: don't read this book. I don't feel any less enthusiastic about Oryx and Crake or Year of the Flood but I'd like to just pretend this last one isn't a part of the series. I expected so much more.

Did I read this voraciously? Yes. Every night. Did I enjoy it? Sure. I didn't hate it. Can I recommend it? No I cannot.
Profile Image for Cecily.
1,106 reviews3,883 followers
March 18, 2015

I read this because I enjoy Atwood's varied writing, I like reading dystopian and speculative fiction, and the the preceding two books in this trilogy were excellent, in different ways.

#1 Oryx and Crake reviewed here 4*: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
#2 Year of the Flood reviewed here 4*: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
#3 MaddAddam only 2*.

I read each within a year or so of publication and didn't know it was planned as a trilogy until I finished the second. The first worked fine as a standalone; the second was a parallel story time-wise, but structured and narrated in a pleasingly different way, shedding new light on the first. And this one...? I can't see the point of it, and I wonder when she decided on a trilogy. It's not that it's badly written or boring, but it doesn't add anything pertinent: just a bit of backstory and a smattering of predictable follow up.

This novel continues the trilogy's recurring theme of unintended consequences of good intentions gone wrong. Maybe that applies to the book itself.


I made lots of notes, but very little happens, so I won't include them here: if you've read the other two, you'll know most of the plot and characters (though it's recapped at the start - and throughout, really), and if you haven't, there's little point reading this, which just fills in a few gaps and joins a few threads.

Contrived scenarios are created for characters to explain things to others (at such times, it feels more like an amateur news report, rather than a novel), and the language they use is often annoyingly banal. Atwood is better than this.

In addition to the now-familiar plot points of bio-terrorism, GM, evil corporations, pollution, child exploitation, sex industry, underclass, hacking and gaming, life-and-death escapes, attempted murder, actual murder, survival, new religion, love, birth and death, there's a rich, powerful and corrupt PetrOleum-based church.

Narrative Structure

As in O&C, this alternates between two timelines: surviving in the "present" post-Chaos world versus events leading up to the "waterless flood".

And as in Flood, this has conventional passages interspersed with short but regular quasi-religious ones. In this case, they're Toby telling creation-type stories to the Crakers, with shades of Joyce Grenfell (you don't read the Crakers' comments in these passages, but do read her slightly exasperated responses to their incessant, childlike questions).


There are some provocative ideas, but they were largely wasted:

The Crakers were designed as near-perfect humans: peaceful, trusting, optimistic, questioning, musical, beautiful, immune to many diseases. The most profound question is to what extent they are human: it's a philosophical question in the story (hammered home by people explicitly discussing it), but also a plot point. It's left somewhat open-ended.

"The world has been changed utterly... the familiar is long dead... everything he used to love has been swept away."
"Once there were too many people and not enough stuff; now it's the other way round." So, plenty of loo roll and linen; survival is more a matter of not getting killed by dangerous beasts or criminally violent painballers.

Obviously, survival pushes the boundaries of what one's prepared to eat: former vegetarians dabble in meat, but no one can face eating animal hybrids bred to have human hair that looks like something from a shampoo advert. Even the pigoons (pig-based animals with some human brain components) have complex rules about cannibalism.

However, survival isn't just about finding food right now: "It's hard to concentrate on the idea of a future. She's too immersed in the present... It's tempting to drift, as the Crakers seem to do... No long-term goals."

Our own pseudo-reality TV is bad enough; popular TV shows before the disaster are, worryingly, almost believable: "Mixed Martial Arts Felony Fights, Nitee-Nite live-streamed suicides or HottTotts kiddy porn or Hedsoff real-time executions." How low can we go?

Power of Stories

Belief in stories is at the core of the Crakers' optimistic existence. "What is 'belief' but a willingness to suspend the negatives?" That's why it's so important to them that Snowman-the-Jimmy keeps telling them creation myths about Crake who made them and Oryx who cares for the animals. When he can't do it, Toby has to take over.

Atwood knows the importance of stories too, and can be a powerful storyteller, but in this book, I found that power lacking, except when she was writing Toby's tales to the Crakers. And then, she is fully conscious of it; it becomes rather meta. As Toby says, "There's the story, then there's the real story, then there's the story of how the story came to be told. Then there's what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too."

Thus Toby weaves: initially to placate the Crakers, but she finds a sort of comfort in the ritual, as well as a little fun. When they overhear Snowman-the-Jimmy swear, she explains that Fuck is an invisible helper of Crake's who comes at times of need, when called. They subsequently call to him.

Writing and reading takes things to another level. Toby teaches a young Craker, but wonders if it was a good idea to do so - where it will lead. Reading her old journals is like "a whisper from the past... The voice your ghost would have".


There is humour here, which is just as well, and I suppose making that work in a dystopian setting, without turning into screwball comedy is quite an achievement.

Atwood even address the humour in such a dark situation directly: "Why is war so much like a practical joke?... hiding behind bushes, leaping out". Quite a sobering thought.

The slogans at HelthWyzer aren't bad:

And having "oleaginous" as a code word provided quite a challenge for a character to use it in a plausible sentence.

Other Quotes

* "It gives her a look of addled reproach."

* "City types with disposable emotions who liked to think they were saving things." (of those who participated in an eco-scam.)

* He "continued to work on [eating] his conundrum of [an artificial] sausage."

* "Laminated eyes. Hard and shiny."

* "Slippery with longing, every pore avid, every capillary suffused, and thrashed around like newts in a puddle."

* "Blood is thinner than money."

* Cheap soap smells "like wading through a sea of dying lilies or a clutch of elderly churchwomen."

* A bloke's first girlfriend was "beginning to emerge from the sex-induced coma created by him through the magic of his first-contact-with-aliens puppy-on-speed gonadal enthusiasm."!

* "Does she want bad news about what she fears or good news she won't believe?

* Plants reclaim the man-made world: "They'll have a building cracked like a nut in a few years, they'll reduce it to rubble in a decade. Then the earth swallows the pieces. Everything digests, and is digested."

* Taking a mild hallucinogen, "She doesn't want all-out brain fractals, just... a crinkling of the window glass that separates the visible world from whatever lies behind it."

* An unhappy couple: "There was a pot of boiling rage on a private stove behind their closed curtains."

* The internet is "full of holes, all the better to trap you with". You have been warned.

* To go unnoticed in the pleeblands, it's "best to seem up to no good, in non-specific ways."

* "The smell of a pleasure factory in the off hours, so sad... that meant you got loved only if you paid."

Official trailer for this book:

Profile Image for Michael.
1,094 reviews1,498 followers
November 9, 2013
I delighted in this “Back to the Future” visit to the post-apocalyptic world populated a few human survivors of a man-made plague. In essence, the first in the series, “Oryx and Crake”, focused on the motive and method by which Crake caused the plague and led the creation of a genetically modified form of human, who like bonobos are dedicated to making love not war and can live by grazing kudzu. “The Year of the Flood” focused on the aftermath of the plague and the survival efforts of an eco-cult called the God’s Gardeners. In this tale, the Crakers and God’s Gardeners get together and set a path of life in the new circumstances.

Where we start here, about six months after the plague, a band of less than a dozen survivors are getting gardening and hunting under way in a hippie commune sort of society. There is little sense of trauma over loss of civilization or burden over their role of sustaining the human species. They had already written off the state of society before the disaster as unsustainable and corrupt; they already felt anointed with the task of initiated a new way of living. But despite these qualities that helped them be survivors, their concerns are surprisingly mundane. Finding seeds for missing crops, getting beekeeping established, scavenging toilet paper and tampons, finding some equity over who carries out onerous tasks, and dealing with jealousies over who is sleeping with whom.

Much of the story is from the perspective of Toby, a woman in her 40’s who is tough and practical, but also playful. She also has a soft heart for the Crakers, who rope her into telling them daily stories that satisfy their craving for myths to make sense of their world. At the start of this book she is getting into the swing of this role:
In the beginning, you lived inside the Egg. That’s where Crake made you. … /The Egg was big and round and white, like half a bubble, and there were trees inside it with leaves and grass and berries. All the things you like to eat. …/And all around the Egg was the chaos , with many, many people who were not like you. /And many of them were bad people who did cruel and hurtful things to one another, and also to the animals. …/And Crake watched over you./ Then one day Crake got rid of the chaos and the hurtful people, to make Oryx happy, and to clear a safe place for you to live in.

Yet there are some potent threats to their existence. Some former gangbangers have managed to survive too, and they want food and women. Also, feral pigs. genetically engineered with human cortex, are dangerously smart in groups, and they take exception to the vegans new taste for pork. Still, Atwood doesn’t milk these challenges very much. Instead, the focus is on the personal relationship of Toby and Zeb.

Their love relationship is the essence of what is worth saving. Zeb’s entertains her with stories of his past as a hacker on the run from his psychopathic father, an evangelical in the powerfully connected Church of PetrOleum. He saved his more intellectual brother, Adam, who eventually became MaddAddam/AdamOne, founder of God’s Gardeners. Atwood gives us a lot of fun with Zeb’s adventures and lingo, as in this interlude:
Hacksaw was located on a joyboat moored off Rio and posing as an anything-goes sex bazaar. …He spent a nervous four weeks on that deathstar working for a pod of seedy Russian pussy-smugglers who were tired of the whininess and bleediness and need-to-feed of their human merchandise and were aiming to supplement their income in ways that required less soft tissue. They put Zeb to work hacking into online PachinkoPoker for skimming purposes, and it was a mite stressful because—sad the other code slaves—the Hacksaw folk were known to heave you into the luminous krill if they thought you were taking too long unravelling the digital embroidery.

Always he is forced to keep on the lam:
They had a case for payback. … I’d fishfooded their guard, pilfered their boat, robinhooded one of their maidens in distress; but worse, I’d made them look sloppy.

I love the science fiction classics of people trying to retain and rebuild civilization after a world-wide disaster. The Cold War contributed to the power of that literature. These were filled with much drama in the guilt trip over what we humans did to ourselves, in fighting despair over loss of people and culture, and in desperate harnessing of the skills of plucky survivors to rebirth the human species. And in recent decades apocalyptic tales abound in the face of the ecological threats to the planet. But these tend toward thriller action, often with zombies thrown in (god knows why). You don’t expect Atwood to go that way. She doesn’t want her books shelved under “science fiction.” Instead, her tale here is more in line with those thought experiments of older literature that explore what core human values would persist when you leave ordinary society behind and anything goes. And in that sense her vision is feels hopeful that maybe we can learn from our mistakes, perhaps more in the vein of Robinson Crusoe and Huckleberry Finn than Lord of the Flies and The Heart of Darkness.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
47 reviews59 followers
September 28, 2013
I seem to be in the minority here, but I...very much did not love this. I mean, a disappointing Margaret Atwood book is still better than most other things published, but this was not at all the conclusion to the series I was hoping for.

Moral of the story: Read Oryx and Crake, for it is excellent, then pretend the sequels don't exist. The Year of the Flood was wonderful, too, but reading it will probably make you want to read the third. Resist the impulse. It's not worth it.
Profile Image for Ted.
515 reviews744 followers
September 30, 2016
This is the story of a book. The book is called MaddAddam.

The book completes the story (in three books) of the making of the Great Emptiness in the world that we two-skins (clothes being our second skin) live in, the world of the twenty-first century. And how this world developed in the decades ahead of where we are now. (I have warned you that we are called two-skins in the story, at least by the new inhabitants of earth, but I will just call us people sometimes.)

That story of the world developing in the future had been told in parts of the first two books (Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood). It is told in more detail in MaddAddam, mostly by telling the story of Zeb.

Zeb was a character in the second book. Toby was also a character there, who found herself in love with Zeb. They become the two main characters in this last book of the story of the turning over and emptying of the world of its scourge, people.

Most of the Toby part of the story is told by a narrator. The Zeb part of the story is told by Zeb, as his own narrator. It is a story of both good and evil, and of much in between those extremes, most of the told things from those in-between parts eventually turning out more good than evil. That is because many of the in-between things are part of Zeb’s story, and Zeb is a man who was in the end much more good than bad.

The story in the book tells how bad the world made by the people had become by the end of our present century, less than a hundred years from now. It tells of how the corporations came to control everything, how the two-skins who worked for the corporations, and lived on gated and highly secure campuses, had it better than the others who didn’t, but not very much better because everyone was expendable.

Those others lived in the pleeblands. The pleeblands were talked about in the first two books, but again much more is told about them in MaddAddam. In the pleeblands most people (two-skins) live, and it is a very hard place to live. Any sort of crime can be committed, and usually no official response is made to it, as long as the crime only affects others in the pleeblands. Everyone is fair game for everyone else.

The story is also about the dying of the earth’s species, and the atmosphere being poisoned and heated up, and the way that the most powerful corporation, OilCorp, together with the church of PetrOleum, whose founder is perhaps the father of Zeb, does pretty much what they want, since the OilCorp and the various BioCorps have attained complete control of the media and even state security, now handled by CorpSeCorps.

There is some sadness in the book. This is skillfully done. It cleans your emotions. It is called catharsis.

But that is enough of my telling of the MaddAddam book. You must read it yourself if so want to explore this (fictional?) vision of the future. Whether the ultimate outcome of the story feels good or bad or indifferent depends on you.

The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam Trilogy, #2) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy, #1) https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... (pretty worthless review - but very short!)
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,039 followers
December 6, 2013
"There's the story, then there's the real story, then there's the story of how the story came to be told. Then there's what you leave out of the story. Which is part of the story too."

Preach, Mother Atwood. This past week has had me reimmersed into the MaddAddam trilogy, starting with a fifth re-read of Oryx and Crake since we discussed it for an SFF Audio podcast. (That was a great discussion, by the way. It answered some questions that I've had for years. Years!)

When you read all the books of a trilogy close together, and you already know the story having read each of them at least once before, it is a lot easier to fill in the gaps and see the intricate detail that Atwood has built into this world. It isn't just the Waterless Flood causing the dilemmas the Crakers are born into, the world was going to hell for decades before that. This book tells more of that story. While Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood were parallel narratives, MaddAddam starts from where those books end, and then traces back around to tell the story of Zeb. His story is told largely by Toby, to the Crakers, in the form of myth-like bedtime stories. What is the power of myth? The minute someone tells it, it has a high likelihood to change, whether that is to protect the listeners or to make it easier on the storyteller. So much about story in this novel.

"People need such stories, Pilar said once, because however dark, a darkness with voices in it is better than a silent void."

I scanned these books for questions I had from the first.
Profile Image for Glenn Sumi.
404 reviews1,521 followers
June 23, 2020
I'm glad I finished Atwood's dystopian adventure trilogy, but this final volume was easily the weakest of the three books.

It concerns the pandemic survivors of Books One (Oryx And Crake) and Two (The Year Of The Flood): most importantly, Jimmy (Snowman), Toby, Ren, Amanda, Zeb and the beautiful naked Children of Crake (or Crakers), a new race genetically engineered by Jimmy's brilliant childhood friend Glenn (a.k.a. Crake). In addition to packs of dangerous animal hybrids, there are also two very evil and underdeveloped painballers on the loose with sprayguns looking to kill everyone.

Where the earlier books were elegantly structured, Atwood seemed to be rushing through this one to fulfil a contract. Most of the book concerns the backstory of Zeb and his brother Adam. (Is this the same Adam One of The Year Of The Flood? I guess we'll find out!) But Zeb's story is clumsily and implausibly recounted, and the first two thirds of the book lack momentum.

Many other characters are introduced, most notably the MaddAddamites, but none of them is very distinct – weird for a trilogy named after them. Even Ren and Amanda, who came across so vividly in the second novel, are weak presences in this one. And Jimmy, the main protagonist of the first book, seems to be in a coma for most of the book. The only compelling new character is a bright, inquisitive young Craker named Blackbeard, who hangs around Toby and is entranced by her storytelling abilities. He and the other Crakers are constantly asking Toby to explain things about this brave new world** they’re living in.

In fact, much of the trilogy seems to be about how stories and myths are created and passed on.

Atwood has fun making Toby explain certain words to Blackbeard; the fact that the latter thinks "Fuck" is a God because Jimmy repeatedly says, "Oh Fuck," provides an amusing running joke.

And despite all the commentary about science and nature (in a way the series could be seen as a cautionary ecological tale), one of the novel's biggest themes is middle-aged love. Late in the book there's a scene involving a ceremonial ritual between two characters that is tender and quite lovely.

Unfortunately, you have to wade through a lot of unnecessary and repetitive writing to get to it.

**Atwood seems to be more inspired by Huxley’s Brave New World than Orwell’s 1984 here. There’s lots of satire about consumerism, class and the pitfalls of science than there is about the perils of fascism. And the tone is much lighter.
Profile Image for Ellis.
1,208 reviews134 followers
November 20, 2014
Oh my. Ouch. I’m not quite sure what my biggest disappointment is about this book. Is it that brave, bad-ass, bitchin’ Toby becomes sleeping-with-Zeb Toby, who does nothing except whine, pine, and be jealous of every single women who has ever been in proximity to Zeb through the course of his life? Is it the maddening, contraction-less Craker stories, a clumsy plot device that culminates in the obtuse cultivation of an Oh-Fuck myth? Is it that the relationship between Adam & Zeb breaks little new ground & seems in fact to be a pale mirror of the relationship between Jimmy & Crake? That a terrible plague has destroyed almost the all of humanity & yet three of Jimmy’s ex-girlfriends end up in the same place as he does? The terrible, sadistic rapist/cannibal Painballers are supposed to be a looming threat throughout the whole book, yet no one seems all that concerned about them. The entire mythos of Crake is entirely dismantled – the BlyssPluss pills that turned everyone to goo weren’t really his invention? He kidnapped the entire MaddAddam team & forced them to work on his Evil Genius plan? Really? Because that’s not at all what I got from O&C & frankly, I think these revelations cheapen that entire plotline. Then to add insult to injury, the entire battle with the Painballers, indeed, the entire end of the book, was apparently written by my three (almost four!) year old – “Very much smoke! I saw it!” Why was Adam even with the Painballers? What happened inside the Egg? The insidious campfire smoke that Zeb saw which ultimately led to his demise – what was that all about? Who knows, because Blackbeard-the-Craker doesn’t know & he’s the one controlling the narrative by that point. I’m sad to say, especially since I like YOTF more than I thought I did, but I think that Oryx & Crake should have been a stand-alone book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile.
2,025 reviews580 followers
August 9, 2021
Meh. I kinda wish I hadn't bothered with this series. It just wasn't to my taste at all. The gritty dystopian world was to be expected, but the illogical clash with science, especially in how the Crakers worked, simply went too far and didn't make sense. I'm glad to be done and be able to move on to better books!
Profile Image for Regina.
625 reviews386 followers
September 22, 2013
Really great conclusion to an amazing trilogy. Atwood is a goddess of literature.

Ten years after the release of the first book in the Maddaddam trilogy (Oryx and Crake) and four years after the release of the second book in the trilogy (Year of the Flood), Margaret Atwood releases the final book in her apocalyptic/post-apocalypse series – Maddaddam. When Atwood first released Oryx and Crake, the post-apocalypse wasn’t as fun and romanticized as it is right now – hard to imagine I know but ….: the Walking Dead was not yet on TV, Red Dawn had not yet been remade, and main stream romance publishing houses weren’t regularly releasing post-apocalypse romance themed books. I think it is fair to say that in 2003, the apocalypse was not yet the rage. It is interesting that when the series ends, Maddaddam finds itself nestled on bookshelves next to other mainstream and best sellers that deal with the what-happens-when-society-collapses. Atwood is a visionary. But Maddaddam and the trilogy is not just about the collapse of society, it is about so much more.

Each book in the trilogy is told form a different point of view and at a different point in time, yet it is the same story and the same characters. The entire story is told in the present, but it is done with memory and flashbacks of the characters. Each book is about the time before the collapse of the world’s society and each book is also about the time after the societal collapse.

There are no zombies, no aliens, no floods and the moon didn’t fall out of the sky. Instead Atwood’s book (and series) is really a critique of what she sees as a major movement in our culture and our world – corporate control and dominance. Can you imagine a world where the corporations call the shots? Where the governments are so weakened that the corporations are the ones truly running things? What if the motivation to earn profit by those at the top of the corporation is what ruled the world? And these corporations controlled all scientific endeavors and the production of all food? Hmmmmmm ….. These are the topics explored by the Maddaddam trilogy and Atwood does this with really well developed characters, an amazingly intricately built (but believable) future world. Atwood began writing about this topic in the early 2000s. She is such a visionary (yes I have written that word twice now in this review — but remember her book The Handmaid’s Tale?, yeah she is brilliant).

But it is also about relationships with our fathers and mothers. It is about sexuality, desire and how gender roles are constructed. The series takes on concepts of the building of myth and religion. And it is also funny.

Rebecca’s having a cup of what they’ve all agreed to call coffee.

But you know what it is not? The post-apocalypse is not fun and it is not romantic. In Atwood’s imagined world, there is no coffee, there is no abundant supplies free for the taking and even with the majority of the population gone it is hard to find food. Empty buildings are dangerous as untended electrical wires and water pipes often mal-function causing fires and flooding. City centers can be filled with tainted water and structurally unsound buildings due to lack of human maintenance. Without family members around to support us and no hope for the future, motivation is hard to maintain:

Daytime becomes irrelevant. You can get careless, you can overlook details, you can lose track. These days she’ll find herself upright, in the middle of the room, one sandal in her hand, wondering how she got there; or outside under a tree, watching the leaves riffle, then prodding herself: Move. Move now. Get moving. You need to …. But what exactly is it that she needs to do?

I would categorize this series as both literary fiction and science fiction. Readers who enjoy Margaret Atwood books or readers who read science fiction/post-apocalypse books to think about broader concepts beyond just the story would enjoy this trilogy. Fans of the first two books may be slightly disappointed by the beginning of Maddaddam, but stick with it. The story does start slow and has a different feel but it is very rewarding and addicting.
Profile Image for ·Karen·.
614 reviews758 followers
June 6, 2016
It's already happening!

I've said it before, but that won't stop me saying it again: Atwood writes real people, which in my (admittedly extremely limited) experience of speculative fiction is as rare as a butterfly in an Arctic wind tunnel.
A completely satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, which gives the fast-paced back story of MaddAddam and edges the action forward to the final confrontation between the goodies and the baddies. There is an utterly amazing bit of inter-racial collaboration that requires a little of the old suspension of disbelief thingie, you know, but by that time I was so hooked I'd have swallowed a ballet-dancing pigoon in a tutu.
Well, not literally.
Profile Image for Gary  the Bookworm.
130 reviews126 followers
October 17, 2013
MaddAddam is the final installment in what has come to be known as the MaddAddam Trilogy. Margaret Atwood refers to it as a piece of speculative fiction because "...it does not include any technologies or biobeings that do not already exist, are under construction, or are not possible in theory." It can be read and admired on its own terms, but a reader unfamiliar with her earlier works, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, would be wise to at least read their Wikipedia entries before reading this. I'm not a big fan of dystopian or speculative fiction, but whenever Atwood speaks, I listen. Her imagination is persuasively perverse and her prose is laced with dynamic lyricism.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The MaddAddamites are survivors, in a not-so-brave new world, after Crake, a new-age Dr. Frankenstein, devised and deployed a virus that led to a pandemic which destroyed much of the human race. He thoughtfully created Crakers, a genetically-engineered species of leaf-eaters, who reminded me of Sesame Street's Big Bird, to replace humans, and inoculated his childhood friend to look after them. Crake first met Jimmy in one the fascistic corporate compounds, where the "chosen" worked and lived before the purge, while the rest of society was relegated to a chaotic and toxic wasteland. Led by Toby and Zeb, the survivalists drape themselves in bed sheets, glean essential supplies from nearby urban wreckage and live in fear of a couple of sadistic, barely-human painballers, who crave their supplies and covet the women.

Ms. Atwood's imagined world echoes our own in ways that are unsettling, yet reassuringly hopeful. She is deadly serious about the impact and potential consequences of unchecked environmental pillage, unregulated corporate malfeasance and destructive religious hypocrisy. She expresses this outrage evocatively through the thoughts and actions of her memorable, relatable characters: they are humanly fallible, yet adaptable and, occasionally, even heroic in their struggle to create a new social order. I laughed a lot, shed more than a few tears, and gave thanks repeatedly for a writer as gifted as Margaret Atwood.

Recent review in The Economist
Profile Image for Madeline.
771 reviews47k followers
October 19, 2013
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. …And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. …And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. …Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked”
-Book of Geneis, King James Bible

There’s something that has always bothered me about the Bible’s version of the Adam and Eve story, and of the fall of Eve. It bothered me when I first read the story in Sunday school, it bothered me when my AP English class in high school studied Genesis, and it continues to bother me to this day: God tells Adam not to eat from the tree of life, because if he does he’ll die. The devil comes to Eve and tells her that if she eats from the tree of life, her eyes will be opened. Adam and Eve eat the fruit, realize they’re naked, and God expels them from the garden. They don’t die from eating the fruit like God told them they would. So, what can we take from this?

God lied, and the devil told the truth.

What are we supposed to make of this? The god who created us also lied to us, and the devil who damned us opened our eyes to the truth.

This all a long-winded way of saying that the Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy is a futuristic version of the story of Adam and Eve, and it’s fucking brilliant. She’s not just reimagining the creation myth in a science fiction (sorry, Ms. Atwood, speculative fiction), she’s reconciling religion and science, and showing us a world where they not only coexist, but one cannot exist without the other.

Look at the God’s Gardeners, who have made conservation of Earth’s resources gospel, and whose saints are scientists and environmental activists. And the “waterless flood” that the Gardeners predict is caused by Crake, unleashing a pill-induced plague on the world to cleanse it. The miracles here are purely scientific, and no less miraculous because of it.

And then there are the Crakers. They’re created by Crake in a controlled, safe environment (literally “Paradice”), intended to be the new, perfect breed of humans to replace the messed-up beta version. Once Crake’s waterless flood devastates the human population (although not nearly as effectively as he wanted it to – even God screws things up), the Crakers are expelled into the real world, which is supposed to serve as a new Eden for them. Jimmy, the prophet chosen by Crake to guide his creations, keeps the Crakers happy with lies and omissions, creating gospel about their benevolent gods, Oryx and Crake. He tells them that Crake communicates only with him (and commands that the Crakers provide Jimmy with food) and tells them only the simplest stories, with the fewest opportunities for questions.

It’s only when the surviving humans, the remnants of the God’s Gardeners, mix with the Crakers that things get messy. With Jimmy too sick to tell stories to the Crakers, Toby takes over the job. Remember in Oryx and Crake, when Jimmy decided that he shouldn’t give the Crakers a detailed origin story for Crake because it would result in too many questions? Toby tells the Crakers how their god was born, and now they have conflicting creation stories. Which version is gospel? Even more dangerous, Toby teaches one of the Crakers how to read and write. So the Crakers, who had previously been kept in happy ignorance, now possess knowledge. Their eyes have been opened. Their faith is still unshaken, but the reader has seen what Crake does behind the scenes. Even if the Crakers haven’t figured it out yet, the reader knows that, like in the story of Adam and Eve, God is a liar.

The difference, of course, is that the Crakers’ gods – Crake and Oryx – were physical people. There are worse things than discovering that your creator was psychotic. What would have happened if Adam and Eve had done as the Crakers do in this book, and returned to Eden to find God’s rotting corpse on the ground? Maddaddam answers this question, and shows us how the Adam and Eve story would pan out in the brave new world that Margaret Atwood has created.

Sure, there are things that I wish would have been explored in further detail – those who, like me, were hoping for some concrete answers about Oryx and her backstory will be disappointed, and there are still large gaps in Crake’s story. This can be frustrating, especially since the first book in the trilogy focused so heavily on the pair, and the mysteries surrounding them. But, I realize, the first book was something of a misdirect. This isn’t Crake’s story, it’s the story of his creations. It was always the Craker’s story.
Profile Image for Monica.
583 reviews611 followers
April 13, 2020
My but I do love Atwood!! The depth and scope and imagination on this author is amazing. How to come up with the term "waterless flood" as a euphemism for pandemic virus that destroys mankind. A virus created as a powerplay for corporate oil and religion in tandem. People battling on a global scale destroying the human race and playing God at the same time, with the creation of a new race. And through it all Atwood has observations filled with great cynicism and hopefulness at the same time. I think this is a brilliant trilogy. Maddaddam is profound and amusing and insightful and hopeful. For a dystopian series, this was far better than I expected. The Maddaddam Trilogy has sealed it. I am a hopeless Atwood fangirl!

4+ Stars for the book, 4.5 for the series which I enjoyed far more than expected

Listened to the audio book. Bernadette Dunne, Bob Walter and Robbie Daymond were excellent.
Profile Image for BrokenTune.
750 reviews202 followers
August 19, 2020

This is a combined review of the trilogy. Well, not so much a review as just a few thoughts.

"But hatred and viciousness are addictive. You can get high on them. Once you've had a little, you start shaking if you don't get more."

When Oryx & Crake was first published, I could not put it down. It was my first Atwood, none of my friends knew about her (I was still at uni at the time) and people thought I was on the crazy train when it didn't win the Booker.

Strangely, my impressions of Oryx & Crake kept me from reading the other two books in the trilogy as soon as they were published, and I only managed to remedy this over the past couple of months.
I kinda wish I hadn't. Not that Year of the Flood and MaddAddam were bad books - the writing was exquisite - but they did not hold the same punch as O&C which is basically "Snowman, the Jimmy"s story.
Being Snowman, the story is slightly mad and told by a madman. I never really knew whether to believe him or not, and that made reading quite fantastic.

Year of the Flood is basically the companion piece told from the view of Toby, a tough but sane, survivor of the Flood. While Toby's story and the of her fellow survivors is interesting, it merely adds to the existing world that Atwood created in O&C.

MaddAddam stretched this even further. Unfortunately, by this time, I had learned about all I wanted to know about the Flood and the aftermath and the Crakers.

By the end, I was only wondering why we needed book 3 at all? I wish she had rolled books 2 and 3 in one.
Profile Image for Anna.
565 reviews101 followers
March 27, 2017
Το τελευταίο βιβλίο της τριλογίας Madaddam, όπου όλη η σειρά είναι η παρουσίαση ενός δυστοπικού κόσμου του 21ου αιώνα, που καταστρέφεται εξαιτίας της υπερβολικής αυτοπεποίθησης των κατοίκων της.

Μπορεί όσα περιγράφει για το πριν να μην είναι αληθινά, αλλά τίποτα δεν τα αποτρέπει από το να γίνουν. Η πένα της Άτγουντ ώρες ώρες δρα προειδοποιητικά για το πόσο μπορεί να αλλάξει ο κόσμος όταν εμείς δεν το περιμένουμε (βλ και το Handmaid's Tale, σύντομα στην τηλεόραση...). Η ρεαλιστική γραφή με συνεπαίρνει σε όλα τα βιβλία της που έχω διαβάσει και αυτό δεν θα μπορούσε να πάει πίσω... Γιατί τότε 4 αστέρια αντί για 5... δεν ξέρω, απλά δεν μου άρεσε όσο τα προηγούμενα, ιδίως όσο το πρώτο που έβαλε τα θεμέλια για την ιστορία... θα έλεγα ότι μου φάνηκε πολύ πρωτόγονο, αλλά από την άλλη, τι περίμενα όταν ουσιαστικά ο κόσμος έχει καταστραφεί; Το είχε πει και ο Αϊνσταίν, ότι ανεξάρτητα με ποιο όπλο θα γίνει ο τρίτος παγκόσμιος πόλεμος, ο τέταρτος θα γίνει με ρόπαλα... πάμε λοιπόν πάλι στις σπηλιές αγαπητοί μου...

Όσο λοιπόν κι αν δε μου άρεσε, κυρίες και κύριοι: this is the ungly truth: welcome to the real world!
30 reviews
September 9, 2013
It's impossible to recommend this book without recommending the entire trilogy, which I do with enthusiasm. Not many of my friends are interested in dystopian literature and I understand that -- you really have to dig to find the best of the genre. However, as the author has pointed out, everything in the series is plausible as an extension of things that already exist in our world today -- gene splicing, technology, mind and body altering techniques, surveillance et al. But what makes it all so delicious is the author's irreverent, sardonic and in the end, profoundly compassionate voice.
Profile Image for Sarah.
729 reviews73 followers
June 30, 2016
Damn this was a brilliant series :) I'm tempted to give this five stars because the whole thing was so satisfying overall. But alas, this rating is for this book only.

I'm so glad that I finished this series, despite the fact that I wasn't totally blown away by Oryx & Crake. It's really a good series and it takes reading all three to get the whole picture. Brilliant triology, brilliant audio, brilliant narration. I just loved it.
Profile Image for Hanneke.
321 reviews313 followers
December 3, 2013
I totally agree to Paquita Maria Sanchez' review of July 2014. Margaret Atwood has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, so it almost hurts me to say that I would have rated MaddAddam only 3 stars for most of the book. I mean, how many witty wisecracks can a person handle when nothing substantial is happening story-wise? The ending was wonderful though. If mankind's fate would unfold in this way, I find it a very comforting idea. So, Margaret, thanks for that truly uplifting ending! And good luck to Blackbeard et al!
Profile Image for Susana.
474 reviews141 followers
April 30, 2022
Como já muita gente comentou, este volume, que encerra a trilogia, não está ao nível dos anteriores.
É pena, pois os dois primeiros livros são bastante bons, apesar de muito diferentes um do outro.

Embora aqui se expliquem como surgiram muitas coisas que fazem parte da história contada em Órix e Crex e em O Ano do Dilúvio, na verdade não me parece que isso fosse necessário.

Algumas partes soaram-me um pouco apatetadas e não gostei dessa sensação, tendo em conta o contexto.

Não posso deixar de recomendar esta história, mas com algumas reservas relativamente a este livro final.
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